CHICAGO — Jameis Winston’s time on the bench didn’t last long.

A half, to be exact.

Winston was back at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to start the second half  against the Chicago Bears on Sunday after a dismal first half by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, who threw for over 400 yards in each of the first three games, completed 9 of 18 passes for 126 yards. He also was picked off at the end of the second quarter and finished the first half with a 49.8 quarterback rating.

Winston was suspended for the first three games of the season for allegedly sexually assaulting an Uber driver. Though there was little doubt entering the week he would eventually get his starting job back, the question was when. Fitzpatrick played well in leading Tampa Bay to a 2-0 start, with victories over the New Orleans Saints and the defending Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Fitzpatrick struggled in Monday night’s loss to Pittsburgh, but the short week and a bye next weekend left many thinking coach Dirk Koetter would wait to make the switch.

But the first half left him little choice. The Buccaneers made it past midfield twice in the first 30 minutes as Chicago took a 38-3 lead by halftime.

Winston, however, also threw an interception in his first series against the Bears.

Follow Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.


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